Yes, Mistress – GLaDOS Is Back

O frabjous day. For the first time in some three years, we’re treated to brand new words from the world’s second-favourite homicidal AI (SHODAN still has the edge, right?), Portal’s GLaDOS. Her lilting synth-tones narrate a lovely animated ad pimping yesterday’s free release of the original Portal, returning us to the heady days of Aperture Science motivational videos. That’s not at all. The deceased (OR IS SHE? (she isn’t)) robocrazy slips in a little tease for Portal 2 at the end, confirming that co-op play will be front and centre in the next round of physics-abusing adventures. Welcome back, missus.

Hooray! Especially for the Black Mesa tramp sta… tram… No, can’t say it. The Black Mesa lower-back tattoo. Yes.

Also: now would be a really great time for John bloomin’ Walker to finally transcribe the interview he did with voice of GLaDOS Ellen McLain back in 2007. Tell him to get on with it, readers.


  1. Zaphid says:

    Get on it, John Walker!

  2. Vinraith says:

    I’m not sure “front and center” is where I want the co-op experience, I’m hoping more for “existing happily alongside single player.” Co-op is great when it’s an option, it’s not so great when it’s required to see the bulk of a game. I like playing games with friends, I don’t like being dependent on friends to be able to play a game.

    • Lambchops says:

      Continuing the agreement trend; I agree with Vinraith.

      Perhaps one day in the future we’ll form a Portal based coalition that will anger many of our respective supporters.

    • bildo says:

      Let’s start a petition………

    • Springy says:

      I love puzzles but despise other people. Should I be worried about Portal 2?

    • skalpadda says:

      I, er, agree. Wouldn’t be an issue if it was a new IP built around co-op (like L4D), but I’ll be a little sad if I can only experience Portal 2 at it’s best when I can drag a friend along.

      Nevertheless, I shall start drawing plans for removal of obnoxious girlfriends and similar..

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      RPS: #1 PC Gaming site.
      RPS: Also #1 anti-co-op-multiplayer gaming site, apparently.

    • Vinraith says:

      @DJ Phantoon

      What a weird thing to say, I don’t think anyone in this discussion is anti-co-op gaming, I know I’m not.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      I’m going to guess that L4D’s given Valve some experience making co-op games work without the required presence of other humans. Which is excellent for all of us!

    • Wulf says:

      Yes indeed, I’m sure they’ll include competent AIs for the good of all of us.

    • Vinraith says:

      @PleasingFungus and Wulf

      Competent AI? I very much doubt that. For one, it’d be prohibitively difficult to create an AI that was useful but didn’t give away solutions in a game like Portal, I suspect they’d have to allow you to give it orders and Valve has never shown any interest in creating an AI companion with that kind of functionality.

      No, I expect the co-op campaign will be co-op only, and I’m fine with that, but they made it clear in the original announcement there was going to be a co-op campaign and a single player campaign. I’m just saying I hope they’re of at least equal weight, and the SP campaign doesn’t come off as the lower priority.

    • Wulf says:


      My imagination has popped out another possibility: They could have a drone follow the player around, and at the press of a butan button the player could take direct control of the drone, seeing through its eyes, as it were. The player would then move it around, have it stand on switches, or use its tools before switching back. Think Lost Vikings, or Trine.

    • Saul says:

      @Vinraith: By all reports, the single-player is the focus, with the co-op being a secondary, more difficult, mode.

      @Wulf: Given that the co-op puzzles that have been described require both players acting at high speed and precision to complete, I don’t imagine a Lost Vikings approach would work here.

    • Vinraith says:


      Sounds good to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to both modes.

    • Sobric says:

      @ Vinratih

      I may be pulling this out of thin air, but I was under the impression that the main campaign is still SP, where you play as Chel again (and presumably, where the story arc progresses).

      But co-op mode is in place as a secondary campaign, where you play as one of two robots (the independant personality cores hinted at in the previews).

    • Vandelay says:

      This is pretty much what I was saying in the Bulletstorm article, but I think it is much more significant for a game like Portal.

      I am pretty certain that they have already said the co-op campaign will be in addition to the single player game though, I guess in a way that is very similar to the advanced test chambers of the original. How successful this will be I’m not so sure. A co-op puzzle game sounds great in practice, but could easily turn to frustration, particularly on PC, where you won’t be sitting beside your partner. This will definitely be a game you will be playing with your friends only.

      Just as long as it doesn’t distract them from making the best single player they can. If it is about double the length of the original, but still containing the same wit and originality then I will be happy. If they end up making it the same length as the original and put most of their focus on the co-op mode, then I will not.

  3. AndrewC says:

    Considering that she’s a voice artist, and that her voice is lovely, couldn’t we just have links to the audio? Tell John to transcribe John Walker’s parts though.

  4. Tei says:

    Humm… Looks a bit unemotional. This AI need a emotion chip!, I say. Lets plug one.. FOR SCIENCE!

  5. WiPa says:


    This comment would have been useless so i wrote this extra sentence.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      And now it’s twice as useless! (As measured in sentences.)

      (Of course – what does that make this comment…?)

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Obviously “A study in unless posts as applied to online game forums”. A few more sentences and you’ll have a thesis.

  6. broklynite says:

    This was found where/how, exactly? Also: awesome.

  7. Qazi says:

    The Co-Op androids are in the basement. :D

  8. Vanderdecken says:

    Interesting how well they fail to spell “failure”. Like it was a failure. Oh, my sides.

    • kromagg says:

      Man I had captions on and thus spent ages trying to find out where they did that. For those wondering, it’s the letters on the bottom of the graph, y’know, right where the captions appear.

  9. Brumisator says:

    Lazy slob, Mr. Walker! Get on it! She’s the greatest hero of our time! You wrote so herself!
    How dare you hold back on her glory like that?

  10. Rob says:

    Wilhelm scream!

    • RedFred says:

      Also the name of a great band.

    • Klaus says:

      I’m sure Wilhelm screamed when Shale smashed his little head in… oh are we not talking about Dragon Age?

    • Clovis says:

      Dang, beat me to it. Has the (in)famous scream made it into any other Valve product? I certainly don’t remember any.

  11. Doctor_Hellsturm says:

    Ah, Portal 2. Does this mean there is a Team Fortress 3 in the pipeline? One can only dream.

    • Ricc says:

      Considering TF3 will take even longer to develop than TF2, they might as well be working on it right now. Can’t wait for 2025! :D

    • sfury says:

      I thought we were all waiting for Episode 3 / Half-life 3

    • Rich says:

      I know I am.
      Why make a TF3 now, when they release so much free stuff for it?

  12. RedFred says:

    Even though I hate Macs free Portal is awesome. I can’t wait to play it this weekend!

    • Thants says:

      Ah, good. Things were far too happy and positive around here.

  13. Reverend Speed says:

    Get on with it, Mr. Walker. Stop replaying The Longest Journey.

  14. benjamin says:

    Co-op never fails to make a game at least 3x as fun! I’m playing Borderlands through with a friend and it’s a real blast.

  15. Loki says:

    I want Portal 2 SOOO BAD :D
    Hurry up Aperture Science

  16. Brian says:

    You hate a computer? Must not have much of a life

  17. cjlr says:

    Second-favourite homicidal AI? Hate to say it, but third at best. HAL9000 for LIFE!

    • westyfield says:

      I’d go with second, but with HAL first instead of SHODAN.

  18. Arathain says:

    You interviewed Ms. McClain and then you somehow thought you had more important things to do than transcribe it? What could be more important than that?

    Mr. Walker, you shake me to the core.

  19. FibreFoX says:

    =D dudes … the most amazing thing is on mark 0:57

    I LUV PORTAL (maybe 2 too)

  20. Larington says:

    A few enjoyable little subtle details in that vid – The chair of the marketing exec falling off the graph just as it starts to zoom out, and the food on the plates is mostly eaten the second time you see the meeting room.

    • noggin says:

      Larginton, I missed both those charming details

      Plus I missed the robots in the basement and “Faliure” as pointed out by others

      So thank you RPS community for helping my tired old eyes!

  21. negativedge says:

    No Durandal love?

    • somedude says:


    • Rufust Firefly says:

      Durandal is our favorite homicidal Rampant AI, perhaps.

    • Thants says:

      Ah, it was great time when Bungie made games that weren’t Halo.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Don’t forget about Myth! Closest we’ll ever see to a video-game adaptation of The Black Company, and quite good in its own right to boot. Especially the dwarves. Oh, the dwarves.

      …am I getting off-topic?

    • Rich says:

      “Make a hole!”

    • Bret says:

      Homicidal implies a certain joy de verve in killing humans though, doesn’t it?

      I mean, Durandal kills Pfhor with enthusiasm, but humans, his attitude seems more towards the “a shame, couldn’t be helped” kind of thing.

      Unless the death was really funny, in which case he probably takes videos to watch over and over.

    • Dr. Derek Doctors, DFA says:

      Frog blast the vent core!

      Ah, good times.

    • Thants says:

      Considering that mouse is from the early nineties, he’s lucky that Portal runs at all.

    • Scundoo says:

      Don’t ruing my joke with the use of logic please :(

      And macs do ship with single mouse buttons.

    • Wisq says:

      I hear they introduced special magic technology that actually detects what side of the mouse button you clicked.

    • Scundoo says:

      cool, good to know Jobs finally made the transition to double button mice :)
      I didn’t know that, first and last Mac I ever got was back in 1995. Haven’t missed them since, though i would switch to linux if they ever got any game support.

    • Rich says:

      Yup, they switched 5 years ago to a touch sensitive one with a little scroll ball in it.
      Now they have a mouse that’s basically coated in a touch sensitive surface.
      It works out which side you’ve clicked and if you drag both fingers down or across it scrolls.
      My ancient iMac has a single button mouse though.

      You might be surprised to know that Macs have changed quite a bit since 1995.
      Consider the difference between Windows7 and Win95.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      1995. That was well before OS X. I used System 7 for music programs in school, but I’d never have bought a Mac for myself back then.

    • Tei says:

      Guys, don’t ruin a good joke explaining why is wrong.

      I agree with myself.

  22. Anthony Damiani says:

    Shodan does not have any edge to speak of.

  23. LukeE says:

    If SHODAN has the Edge I’m sure she’ll be hearing from Tim Langdell in due course.

  24. LintMan says:

    For homicidal AI’s, GLaDOS is tops for me, followed by HAL9000.

  25. Fumarole says:

    Doesn’t HK-47 count?

    • Saiko Kila says:

      He’s the best. He can perform his homicidal acts with weapon of choice, sincerity and LOVE.

    • Bret says:

      Well, I find “AI” and “Robot” tend to be discussed all separate-like.

      (And Durandal is better than HK-47. No offense, but it’s true.)

  26. Bhazor says:

    Please be well written.
    Please don’t turn the jokes from the original into catch-phrases.
    Please actually have puzzles and not just a three hour tutorial.

    • Ricc says:

      You mean like the challenge rooms in the first game?

    • Saul says:

      @Bhazor: They’ve promised they’re not re-hashing the jokes in the first game. Have faith.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yes there were challenge rooms but the challenge rooms were undisguised rehashes of previous levels with some arbitrary move limit.. There was also about 5 of them.

      Portal really was the reason I bought the Orange box. I had little to no interest in online shooters and little real interest in Episode 2. The fact both those games were excellent is a bonus. I didn’t buy Portal for its humour or story, as excellent as they were, I bought it for the mind bending puzzles promised in the trailers and in that regard I was very disappointed. I’m dense enough to have twice cooked a pizza without taking the plastic off but even I was able to grasp the concept of Portals within 5 minutes.

  27. Jambi says:

    Such pessimism Vinraith!

    Valve are not so stupid as to alienate a huge chunk of their entire singleplayer fanbase. They know that we nerds are at our best alone in a darkened room. “Front and center” is a throwaway phrase used here that more describes the marketing of the game than its actual gameplay. We must remember that the co-op aspect of the game involves the two robots we saw holding hands in the ARG. The singleplayer campaign, as you rightly mentioned being seperate to the co-op, involves the story of Chell and Glados. Valve knows that this is by far the more important aspect of the game, and I would therefore be amongst the first to :O if co-op was not less than or equal to the single player campaign.

  28. Zoltan Shapiro says:

    sry, thats an ADB mouse (have one that i use on my mac SE and my powermac g3). no way to get it to work on an intel mac (intel is required for steam)
    all mice introduced with any intel mac have light sensors that can tell if you’re right clicking or left clicking
    way to fail at being a windows fanboy

  29. The Dark One says:

    I love the Canyon.mid vibe of the music.

  30. Demon Beaver says:

    Life agrees with me

  31. terry says:

    Further proof that isometric is the best metric.

  32. KillahMate says:

    Jesus Christ, John! Get on with it! Don’t you understand? It’s the only thing that matters.

  33. Vague-rant says:

    Heres hoping for split-screen pc!

  34. Sobric says:

    Very nice!

    Get on with it Walker!

  35. Chris D says:

    I’m a little confused about the co-op part. Sure, Valve have done some great co-op shooters and co-op makes sense for that genre, but Portal is really a puzzle game that looks like a shooter. I’m not sure how desirable a co-op puzzle game is. Firstly puzzle games have always had an optional co-op mode which involves oulling up a chair and saying “What happens if you try doing this?”. Secondly, anyone doing so uninvited risks a punch in the face because there’s nothing worse than having someone solve a puzzle for you.

    Now, this being Valve we’re talking about I’m sure they’ve thought about all this and come up with something so I’m more puzzled than I am pessimistic but I’d like to know what they have planned as turning Portal into a good co-op game is going to be more complicated than slapping in a lobby system.

    • Rich says:

      The co-op puzzles are designed so that you actually need two players working together to get the task done. They’re not just going to be single player maps with two people in them.

      Also, you can use each other’s portals!

    • robrob says:

      Do you have a source on that, Mr. Nixon?

    • Rich says:

      A secondary source. The secondary source; Wikipedia.

      The relevant references seem to be from GameInformer.

    • Tei says:

      FORGET everything you thing you know.

      Think how… dynamic portal feel, almost like dancing. Now add two people and is not “like” dancing. Is dancing!. I am already looking forward for a video with classic music, and two guys jumping and flyiing around like we have NEVER be see before. Ever.

    • Bret says:

      Okay, normally I think people are slightly exaggerating when they describe Tei’s posts as poetry, but that one?

      They’re right. ‘S a good post, that.

  36. Chris says:

    To bad you cant take a computer system that would make you feel inadequate and useless with all the windows information you have stuck in your little brain.

  37. Rick says:

    ‘Twas watching an interview by Gabe pre-Orange Box release earlier. He said that Episode Three was going to be the pimary focus of the company after the Orange Box was released. Its amazing to see how well that company objective has held up.

    Not to say I’m not looking forward to Portal 2, but the delays on Episode Three even emerging, let alone being released, aren’t funny anymore.

    • Rich says:

      At this point I’ll be seriously annoyed if the first thing we hear isn’t “It comes out in a month, enjoy!”.

    • Urthman says:

      The scary thing is that maybe that’s true. Maybe the majority of Valve employees have been working on HL3 this entire time. I know that the TF2 team is pretty small.

    • AndrewC says:

      Or how about ‘available exclusively on Steam: in two hours’. I figure a two hour warning is just enough time for the Internet to explode. They could do it too, and it would make me love those dirty Valve whores all the more.

    • Bret says:

      Steam would crash.

      I don’t care what precautions they take. It’d crash. And hard.

  38. FernandoDante says:

    “That’s not at all. ”

    That’s not WHAT at all?

  39. Cannon says:

    Co-op FPS-like puzzle game ?


    As a Co-op Windows base solitaire game.

  40. Aha says:

    Portal 2 will open a portal to XEN.Woottt!

  41. grindFish says:

    im still of the opinion that DURANDAL is the most evil AI of them all. Thank you and good night.